The Advocacy Lab

Movement Labs > The Advocacy Lab

We win crucial legislative battles and find grassroots groups their next 1,000 supporters.

The Advocacy Lab at Movement Labs drives progressive change at the local, state, and federal levels. We build power in marginalized communities by offering pro-bono text banking, training, strategic research, and other support to directly impacted grassroots groups that are advocating to reform the justice system, address the climate crisis, protect our democracy, and ensure everyone has what they need to thrive. Since its inception in the summer of 2021, the Advocacy Lab has had numerous wins, including:

In our first 9 months,
we supported
44 policies
for 102 partners
in 37 states.

We supported winning legislation including the Gender Recognition Act, Non-Citizen Voting Rights, and Good Cause Eviction.

We identified
128,475 supporters
and prompted
101,347 grassroots actions.

Of over 213 applicants, we accepted 13 organizations into our fellowship with 50 fellows participating in training.

We provide 3 types of support:

  • Rapid response text banking to voters in response to the most urgent needs in the nation offered to a network of over 5,000 partners on an ongoing basis. Nominate a group or request support!
  • National coalition work, where we fill gaps in coalition strategy and capacity as part of over a dozen national coalitions, and prioritize partners who also need base building support. Invite us to support your coalition!
  • Our juried Advocacy Texting Fellowship is a transformative grant that offers texting support over the course of an entire advocacy campaign as well as training and capacity building to help grassroots groups grow to the next level. Apply for the fellowship!

Through our texting, we engage voters in actions, events, and advocacy to pass bold progressive laws and work to overturn egregious legislation — all while identifying supporters and building membership and grassroots power. Some ways we’ve helped partners:

48,755
voting rights advocates identified

in 6 target states
for Black Voters Matter.

2,586
calls driven

to support the Gender Recognition Act
in New York state.
(It passed that week!)

98
hosts recruited

in target states
for the nationwide
John Lewis Day of Action.

10,017
supporters recruited

for 21 partner rallies on the National Day of Action for Abortion Justice.

75
community members recruited to testify

at a City Hall hearing in support of Commercial Rent Stabilization.

Identified & helped 136 people apply for
$204,000

undocumented excluded worker unemployment funding ($15,000 each).

585
citizen lobbyists

recruited in West Virginia to train and meet with their representatives to support the Fairness Act.

1,031
new members

recruited to join the Texas Center for Justice & Equity’s annual community meeting.

1/2
of all attendees

at the Child Tax Credit rallies were recruited through our texts.

Our Partners

We prioritize organizations led by the people directly affected by the policies they’re trying to change, grassroots community groups participating in national coalition efforts, and those who don’t have the funding or capacity to run text banks themselves. Some of the organizations and campaigns we support:

Organizations

  • 1Hood Power
  • Black Voters Matter
  • Declaration for American Democracy
  • Freedom Agenda
  • HALTSolitary
  • Housing Justice For All
  • The LGBT Center
  • LOUD For Tomorrow
  • Main Street Alliance
  • Moms Rising
  • No Boundaries Coalition
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Parents Together Action
  • Public Citizen
  • Solar Rights Alliance
  • Stand UP Alaska
  • UltraViolet
  • United Women of Color

Campaigns

  • DC Statehood
  • NYC Non-Citizen Voting (it passed!)
  • Stop voter suppression bills
  • Stop anti-protest bills
  • Gender Recognition Act (it passed!)
  • Good Cause Eviction (it passed!)
  • Close Rikers Jail
  • End Solitary Confinement
  • Save California Solar
  • Education Justice
  • The For the People Act
  • The John Lewis Voting Rights Act
  • End the Filibuster
  • Child Tax Credit (it was extended!)
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Women’s Health Protection Act
  • Build Back Better Act
  • Paid Leave for All

The Advocacy Lab Texting Fellowship

Through The Advocacy Lab Texting Fellowship, Movement Labs awards peer to peer texting grants worth up to $25,000 each to 12 grassroots organizations working to build power and drive progressive change in marginalized communities. Grants support organizations throughout an entire legislative session toward identifying 5,000 new supporters and helping to pass critical, time-sensitive legislation. Additionally, the fellowship includes training, coaching, and expert consultation, so the organizations leave with broader memberships, winning campaigns, and a new set of strategic tools to use for their future organizing efforts. Meet the 2021 Advocacy Lab Fellows!

Action St. Louis

Action St. Louis is a grassroots racial justice organization building political power in Black communities in the St. Louis region. They build campaigns that leverage organizing, communications, advocacy, and direct action to mitigate harm against their community while fighting for long-term transformation. We’re helping them grow and mobilize their tenant base to lead the strategy to implement policy priorities including a tenant bill of rights; mobilize voters to engage in the redistricting process to ensure an equitable map; and #DefundSLMPD by engaging residents in the budget process and their People’s Plan.


Anti Police-Terror Project

Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) is a Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color. They support families surviving police terror in their fight for justice, documenting police abuses and connecting impacted families and community members with resources, legal referrals, and opportunities for healing. Current goals include decertifying police officers who harm or kill community members and are found guilty of misconduct, and statewide funding for pilot projects that could offer crisis response without police.


Campaign for New York Health

Healthcare is a human right! Campaign for New York Health is a statewide coalition dedicated to passing and implementing legislation for guaranteed, universal, single-payer healthcare in New York State. The coalition represents more than 300 community and labor organizations made up of nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, union members, business leaders, faith and immigrant rights communities, progressive political organizations, healthcare advocates, and providers. This grant will allow the coalition to grow a leaderful movement by helping volunteers build important advocacy skills including how to run text bank campaigns!


Fairness West Virginia

Open to everyone who believes in fundamental fairness, Fairness West Virginia is the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender West Virginians. The organization’s mission is to ensure LGBT people can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the community. Fairness WV will apply peer-to-peer texting to fight for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections at the state and local levels. Through texts, they will connect West Virginia residents with the tools to learn more about and advocate for inclusive policies.


Free Hearts

Free Hearts is led by formerly incarcerated women and provides direct support along with education, advocacy, and organizing opportunities to families impacted by incarceration with the ultimate goals of reuniting families and strengthening communities. They’re using the grant to identify new supporters in strategic locations across Tennessee where their bills are being heard, and where important DA races are being held and conversations need to include the voices of the community. Their policy agenda includes six categories: Decarceration, Decriminalization of Poverty, Drug Policy, Family & Reproductive Justice, Free The Vote, and Youth Justice.


Innovation Ohio

Innovation Ohio is a catalyst for progressive policy and grassroots activity that improves the lives of Ohio’s working families. Their vision is a more just and equitable society where every Ohioan can realize the American dream. Ohio House Republicans introduced two bills (HB 322 and 327) to ban the teaching of critical race theory and prevent students from receiving an honest and accurate education. Innovation Ohio intends to use this grant to mobilize Ohioans to put pressure on GOP lawmakers so these bills never make it to the Governor’s desk.


Make the Road New Jersey

Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant, working-class & Latinx communities to achieve dignity and respect through community organizing, legal, policy innovation and transformative education. They are focused on providing relief for workers and New Jerseyans left behind from Federal Aid. Their goal is to contact community members to register for program assistance and to push local elected officials to fully fund any excluded New Jerseyans. With this reach, they have the opportunity to provide needed resources to locals living without the aid they deserve!


Next Up Action Fund

Voting is a civil right. Yet, Oregon still has a law in place from the 1850s that prevents people in prison from voting. That’s why Next Up Action Fund is fighting to restore the right to vote to incarcerated Oregonians! Their work will be a historic step toward eliminating laws created in the Jim Crow era that are rooted in white supremacy and have no correlation to public safety. The Restoration of the Voting Rights Act will allow those with felony convictions to vote in elections, even while incarcerated. The grant will help mobilize communities across Oregon to contact their legislators in support of rightfully restoring the right to vote to incarcerated people.


PR LatinX Progressives & Power 4 Puerto Rico

Splitting the text grant to end colonialism in Puerto Rico are PR LatinX Progressives and Power 4 Puerto Rico, two collectives of Puerto Rican, diáspora, and Latinx organizations, individuals, and allies advocating for the well-being and future of the Island. Together, they strive for Puerto Rican voices living on the island to be heard and taken into consideration when Congress makes decisions that affect them. These powerhouse organizations will launch a texting program to support their advocacy work in strategic Congressional districts to build support for Puerto Rican Self-Determination.


ReThink Energy Florida

Through the Carbon Free Communities Campaign, ReThink Energy Florida works to persuade City and County governments to publicly commit to converting to 100% net renewable energy, and to hold these local governments accountable to following through on their commitments. They believe that local commitments will help reduce emissions and help to mitigate climate change. The grant will help ReThink engage community members in key counties to interact with their local leaders to move these areas forward in moving to a commitment to 100% clean energy. The future is #carbonneutral!


Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council

Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council (TCJES) is a group of formerly incarcerated and system-impacted Texans who seek to end mass incarceration and promote a successful path for returning individuals. With these leaders at the forefront of the movement to transform justice, TCJE is active in dozens of cities across Texas, allowing for localized networks of advocates who can be activated for change at the local and state levels. TCJE’s goal is to identify, educate, and train a broader base of system-impacted people throughout Texas in advance of the state’s next legislative session in January 2023.


Worth Rises

Worth Rises is a criminal justice advocacy organization dedicated to dismantling the prison industry and ending the exploitation of those it touches. Worth Rises will use this grant to support #EndTheException, a campaign to end slavery and involuntary servitude once and for all. The Thirteenth Amendment is celebrated for abolishing slavery, but few know that it included an insidious exception that allows for slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. They are fighting to pass the Abolition Amendment to end this exception.


Join us!

We launched the Advocacy Texting Grant to build power. There is a clear need for more progressive laws, policies, and changes across our nation, and we are confident that our Advocacy Lab Fellows are paving the way to make the impact we need. Are you ready to join them?